At The Water's Edge
The idyllic community of Neumühl on Lake Julensee is populated in the main by young, well-to-do families from Berlin. When a child goes missing, the smooth veneer of their harmoniously urbane co-existence begins to crack, with fear and betrayal bubbling to the surface. Silivio Huonder's superbly written drama has all the aspects of a thriller: set amongst the sophisticated bourgeoisie, it is narrated in a style at once deeply unsettling and inescapably absorbing. Nine-year-old Nelson hasn't returned home after his piano lesson. His school bag is found in the rushes by the waterside, and the police commence investigations that same night. Nelson is from a good family and has led a sheltered life in a peaceful neighbourhood, but the interrogation of his family and acquaintances yields strangely contradictory evidence. It seems as though they all have something to hide and are becoming increasingly caught up in a web of lies. Many are saying whatever it takes to keep up the illusion of a perfect marriage, but there is someone in the area who apparently has as many enemies as there are discontented wives. Desperate conflicts rage behind the facade of respectable, liberal-minded parenthood. The denizens of Neumühl are all so completely self-absorbed that they fail to notice the tragedy unfolding in their midst.
"His treatment of the catastrophe that is human existence is convincing, his precise use of language that of a virtuoso." (FAZ)